March 2020, Week 3, Raining, Raining, Raining

Why can't the rain stop long enough for everyone to get their planting, weeding and mulching done? It always seems like the rain falls here in Oklahoma at the most inconvenient times. Still, I guess I'd rather have rain in general than not have it at all.

By now, pretty much everyone should have their cool-season plants in the ground, so if you haven't finished up the cool-season planting yet, I hope you'll be able to do so soon. Of course, some cool-season seeds like radishes can be succession sown for quite a while yet since they produce an edible crop so quickly. We now have begun to approach the right time frame for warm-season planting though it isn't really here yet unless you're a gambler, and the soil temperatures are half decent as well. The air temperatures were better before the rain arrived, but I know some of y'all really needed the rain and am glad you're getting it. Meanwhile, maybe Larry and I should be working on plans to build an ark or two so we can take two plants of each kind onto the ark in order to save them from the rain, mud and muck of near-constant winter and early spring rainfall. For those of us in southern OK, the appropriate time to plant sweet corn is just about 10 days away. Keep an eye on the weather around next Friday-Saturday because a cool night or two is slipping back into the forecast.

I keep trying to get excited about gardening but it is hard when all you have is constant rain and mud that ruins all your plans. I'm starting to fear the landscape renovation will slide into 2021. I really had wanted to have the sod removed, the soil improved and the area ready to plant in the April-May time frame, and that cannot happen if the rain keeps falling day after day after day. I always say that things work out the way they're meant to work out, so maybe it just isn't in the cards for us to be able to work on the landscape this year, but it is driving me mad nonetheless.

What can we work on in mid-March? Well, when it isn't raining, we can shop for new nursery stock to plant in our yards and gardens. The stores really are filling up with all sorts of lovely plants now. Those of us along the Red River can begin to watch our forecast closely to see when we can transplant tomato plants (mine are still too small, though), pepper plants and other warm-season plants into the ground, or sow the seeds of corn and beans, for example. The middle of the March often allows that this far south, but since Jennifer mentioned a cold day in her extended forecast, I doubt I'll jump the gun and plant any warm season stuff until after next weekend, and by then we'll be getting close to my average last freeze date. Our soil temperatures really have been helped by all those days in the 70s and 80s so are a bit warmer than usual lately, and I do like that.

Has anyone mowed yet? We mowed part of the yard once, but tried to walk around the big patches of henbit and dandelions and leave them blooming for the butterflies and bees. After the rain falls, when the ground is moist but not overly waterlogged, is a really great time to weed. Those weeds pull out of the ground easily in moist soil, but not so well in heavily waterlogged soil.

If you need to plow or rototill, remember to let your wet soil dry out first or it will tend to form into big clods if worked while too wet. How wet is too wet? That would depend on the composition of your soil. If you pick up a handful and squeeze it and it forms into a clod and holds that shape really firmly, the soil probably is too wet to plow or rototill.

Obviously I am not one to use pre-emergent herbicides because I want a lawn and pastures full of wildflowers, but if you're trying to maintain a weed-free lawn, then the time to apply a pre-emergent for warm-season weeds is approaching. At this time of the year, the pre-emergent herbicide mainly is applied to prevent germination of crab grass and grass burs. I cannot tell you when the time to do this would be right for your area, so follow the lead of local experts or your extension service personnel.

Before long, at least in my area, some people will begin applying herbicides to their fields and fence lines, and I'll know it. Either I'll be in the garden and see them doing it, or I'll be indoors and Ace will bark to let me know (he thoroughly hates those big spraying rigs and barks nonstop when he hears them operating) or I'll find out after the fact when herbicide drift starts killing my plants. That is my least favorite way to find out. If you use post-emergent herbicides, please follow all label directions and don't apply when conditions are favorable for particle drift (when the droplets of herbicide don't hit their target because the wind blows them away elsewhere and they land on other, non-targeted plants) or volatilization (which is when the herbicide is sprayed on the target plants, turns into a gas, and drifts away to settle on and kill or damage non-target plants). In our rural area, it is common to have both kinds of drift and to get hit multiple times per year and I just hate it.

Does anyone have any pruning left to do? Remember that you can (and should) plant your spring blooming shrubs after they finish blooming if they need any grooming or reshaping. Don't prune until they've bloomed though or you could be cutting off all the buds that will be this spring's blooms.

Weeding. Weeding. Weeding. Weeding. After that, mulching, mulching, mulching, mulching. Because temperatures are warming, weed seeds are germinating and perennial weeds are rebounding from their roots, so now is a good time to get these weeds under control before they get too large. Remember after weeding to put down a good layer of mulch to keep future weeds from sprouting. I guess before long, with all this rain, it will be time for mowing, mowing, mowing.

That's about all I can think of. Really, with many of us having rain in the forecast for pretty much every day and, in some cases, every night this week, doing anything in the garden may be more of a wish and a dream than a reality. The rainfall here hasn't been that awful yet this weekend, but the weekend isn't over yet.

Have a great week everyone and be sure to check in here and let us know what you're working on. If you're on spring break and spending time with kids or grandkids, have fun!


Comments (93)

  • slowpoke_gardener

    We are trying the Walmart pickup service today to see how it works. We are to be there between 3 and 4 PM. I think that you just park in a certain area and they just bring your order out and load it into your car. My granddaughter loaded the app on Madge's phone yesterday, we will see how this works out.

    I went out to the garden a while ago looking for a spot above water to plant some plants, no luck. I will wait till it quits raining and look for dry land. While I was out there I checked on the stuff I planted a few days ago, without being hardened off, some of the older leaves were burnt, but the plants will be okay, I think. The Brussels sprouts are bolting, it looks like they are also making little heads up the stalk, but doubt they will make. This is the third time I have tried Brussels sprouts and have flopped. I need to waste my time on something else, I dont like them anyway, just trying them for the kids.

    While I am in town I will go by the co-op and get a few bags of potting soil. I still have about 1.5 bags, but will need more. I need to be potting up peppers before long, also getting containers ready.

  • dbarron

    The Walmart pickup is great, I used it last year when my leg was hurt and the thought of painfully hobbling all over the store was awful. Nice and efficient (and cost free).
    Our low for Friday is now 27F...omg, I guess I try to cover stuff and hope for the best and expect the worst.

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    Jennifer—I believe Amish Friendship starter is a poolish, which is more properly a preferment that you make with commercial yeast. You make ciabatta in the same way. My starter is true sourdough, made from yeast I captured from the air in my kitchen. It’s been going for several years now, yay! I make my sourdough with a really long proof (12-18 hours) and no kneading. I know you can buy freeze-dried starter culture, or you can capture your own (link below), but anyone who makes sourdough bread regularly always has lots of starter hanging around. ;)


    Outdoorsman—I am curious about C. baccatum peppers because I love Peppadews. They have a wonderful flavor and texture. Last year they did not fare well in the wet, so I am hoping for better this year!


  • hazelinok

    Bruce, is she delivering them to Prairie Wind? I might be able to go. I would like to do some shopping too.

    HU, I will trade you eggs or pay you for one of the peppers. Thanks for offering to share! I meant to get an artichoke when you first mentioned it....but never got around to it. I almost went to Ellisons today, but got busy with other things.

    Do you think you can go to your garden tomorrow? I think the weather is supposed to be nice.

    Marleigh, thanks for the link. I've added it to my favorites. It's something I've wanted to do for awhile. It is very dangerous having fresh bread around, though, like Nancy (might have) mentioned. Any fresh bread...even pumpkin breads and other breads like that. Store bought bread...meh. I can take it or leave it, but usually leave it.

    We ended up having class tonight. I wasn't sure because I never heard, so drove in. There were only two of us and we couldn't be next to each other on the reformers. (The other woman there is always on the reformer next to me.) We had to keep several feet from each other and Sharin didn't touch us or help in that way. Usually it's a very hands-on class. After tonight, we will do the "zoom" class.

    Because it's supposed to be pretty tomorrow, we are driving to Texoma. I want to see Willis Bridge and the communities around there. My grandparents had a little "lake" house and an acre or two in a little town called Lebanon, so I want to see if that home is still there. My dad build a garage for his boat on that property. It will be interesting to see it.

  • HU-422368488

    Jennifer, sure we can trade eggs for pepper plants. You can have 2 or 3 of them if you want.Ellisons will probably have Habanero later on . It's a little early for them right now. I'll keep an eye out for them and get us both some . I'll keep an eye out for artichokes too.

    I don't think the ground will be dry enough to work in even if tomorrow is nice. It takes a while to dry out as wet as it got. It rained an additional inch there just since yesterday. I'm still technically "at work" this week even though I'm home. Might get called back in if circumstances call for it. Wish I could go to the garden and work it but would probably just be staring at the mud.It will probably be the same story next weekend as well after an additional 2 or 3 inches (grrr...) :(.


  • Marleigh 7a/Okmulgee Co.

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    Almost Eden plants have arrived!

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    I'm so far behind here that I'll never catch up. We've been driving to the kids' house 30 miles away twice daily to take care of the pets and the plants while they are on vacation, and that eats up a chunk of our time. They have two full light shelf units in their kitchen filled with flats of plants, many of which are now getting round bound because they started pretty much everything too early, so I have to water those plants every morning and every evening or they wilt. All their cool-season plants are in the ground, but they have a ton of warm-season plants-in-waiting.

    About the Spring Fling....everyone will have to decide this one for themselves. Tim and I already have decided. Because he works at a large international airport and is prone to have contact with a huge number of people daily (even when he is trying to avoid it) and because the coronavirus can remain totally asymptomatic for up to at least two weeks (during which time you can have it and spread it and not feel sick, look sick or know you are spreading it), we will not be attending the Spring Fling....or anything else. I'm sorry, y'all know I love you all and want to see you, but this decision is the right one for Tim and I ....and it really is more about protecting all of you in case he is carrying it than it is about protecting us. Some of his coworkers already had a coronavirus scare last week. He was coughing like a demon yesterday and I was trying to joke about it, but we both were uneasy. I 'think' it was just allergies, but it is hard to know for sure, and since some of his coworkers had contact last week with a person in their building who could have had it, I was wishing I wasn't in the car with him during that big coughing spell.....Thankfully, the test for last week's contact came back negative for that individual, but that is not as comforting as you'd think because some people with coronavirus test negative multiple times before testing positive. This weekend, we're missing the second birthday party of our best friends' grandson up in central OK for the same reason, and it is a very hard decision to make. We're always going to be conservative and err on the side of safety because that is just our nature.

    We're not going anywhere now that people will be gathered, and we're not inviting anyone to come here. Social distancing can work, but you have to use it very consistently. I listen to Tim's twice daily coronavirus teleconference calls from work (Ha,whether I want to or not because he puts it on his speaker phone) and to any local briefing our Emergency Mgmt Dept sets up for us here, and the more that I hear and learn, the less relaxed I feel. This pandemic is the real deal.

    Jennifer, This particular coronavirus is showing signs that any immunity people may gain, if they gain any at all, is very short-lived and does not provide protection for long---maybe a mere 2 weeks to as much as a month or two. The scientists do not know why, but the lack of immunity or short-lived immunity explains why people who were cleared after illness and released from the hospital suddenly fall ill again and are back in the hospital again within a couple of weeks. The relapse case often is worse than the initial case was in terms of severity, and often accompanied by a higher rate of lung damage and/or death. It takes a lot of time and research to determine why immunity is not developing or not lasting if it does develop, and this virus is too new for that sort of data to be available yet---but they can tell that people exposed to it over and over are not becoming immune. The main issue is that RNA viruses mutate constantly, so by the time a vaccine is developed, the current strain of the virus has mutated so much from the original that the vaccine is ineffective. If lasting natural immunity is not happening, then scientists are unlikely to be able to develop viable vaccines for the same reasons. This is why we still do not have vaccines for the common cold or for other RNA viral diseases like HIV. To understand more about pandemics, I highly recommend reading the book "The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History" by John M. Barry. It is very enlightening and horrifying at the same time.

    I'm a little surprised by how quickly it is spreading in Texas, but not totally surprised because I've been watching it spread worldwide since the first day I heard about it being in China. When it gets rolling in an area, it can move fast. The kids are cutting short their vacation and heading home today because two people in the county they are visiting tested presumptive positive yesterday, and they don't want to risk keeping our grandchildren down there another day. Previously it was in other counties but not there, and they still were practicing proper social distancing, staying away from large crowds and avoiding tourist trap type places. I hate that they are cutting short their vacation, but relieved at the same time that they are doing the smart thing.

    Are y'all watching the weather? At least part of OK is in the Enhanced Risk area for a few tornadoes, large hail and wind gusts of 60-80 mph this evening and overnight. Keep an eye on your local forecast and your local weather. I just hope we can make it up to Chris and Jana's house this afternoon/evening, take care of the birds and plants, and make it back home before wild weather breaks out. In our county, we currently are expecting that we'll have to active the SkyWarn storm spotter network this evening and open up the county's Emergency Operations Center. (I'd be perfectly happy if neither of those occurs.) We have one Nervous Nellie dog (Jersey, who's 13 years old) who does not like thunder, so for her sake, I hope these storms either miss us or fly through quickly, because if Jersey is scared and cannot sleep, no one sleeps. I've had tomato plants outside in the cool, misty air all week, but will carry them indoors before we leave in a little while for Chris' house. I don't want for hail to arrive early and pound them to a pulp before we get home.

    The last thing we need is more rain, but here it comes again. We've been lucky so far---only maybe 2 or 2.5" in our rain gauge over the past week, and we don't need more than that since our soil already was holding too much water. I wish these storms would miss us completely but I don't think they will.


  • jlhart76

    Dawn, it stinks thst you two won't be there. But I completely understand. You have to do what's best for you. I'm sure others will cancel too, so we'll just play it by ear.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    This Covid 19 is sure messing with my life also. We tried the Walmart pickup service and liked it, but like always we forgot stuff. While we were at town I thought it would be a good time to run by the co-op and get potting soil. And like everything else I do, I got caught. My granddaughter told on me, she told her mother. They both had told us to stay home and tell them if we needed anything. I am really going to try to do that because I really feel guilty after the talking to I got. I understand their point, and I would be the same way, but it is really hard when the shoe is on the other foot. There are so many people I would like to check on, but could I do?

    I planted 6 more arugula yesterday, but the soil was mushy. I tried to take a hoe and pull the soil up to where the plant was on a small mound, but when I went out this morning the mound was even under water because of the rain last night. I have most of my plants in the small cell (72 count ) containers and they are getting root bound. I need to get some plant in the ground to make more room on the light shelf. I may just take some of the plants to the wildlife garden and plant them on a high spot. Maybe the rabbits will get some use out of them.

  • dbarron

    It looks (subject to change) that planting and gardening might be possible after the freeze Friday that kills tender things that are now emerging. I don't see much rain in the current forecast, actually none at all after tomorrow for the rest of the month.

    I'm sure they'll change it..the thought of 2 weeks without rain is dreadful :)

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Hahaha, dbarron! I KNOW. Two weeks without rain???

    I told Garry that Sunday is the day the tomatoes are going to be out part of each day and into the ground by the end of the week. If I have to put frost covers over them, fine. But they are getting booted out!

    Jen, it very well could stink that none of us will be there! I reluctantly went into town this evening about 2 1/2 hrs ago to pick up stuff for school kids' lunch tomorrow. It was surreal. Reminded me of the pictures I saw of Russia's empty shelves when I was in jr high and high school. Thankful that I got the stuff. But GDW and I have been lying low for the past 2 weeks, and typically, I'd NEVER head into Walmart,. 10 miles away, at 7:30 in the evening. I was glad there were very few folks there. But I was very sad to note that 3/4 of the employees were probably over 60. Praying for them.

    Re re-thinking chickens. I was going to post something about it, that this would be the time to hit GDW up about it, but I think I erased that thought. Well guess who brought it up tonight???? Not me!! Oh my oh my! Not only chickens, but rabbits! Did you all see George's post about rabbits?

    Recommended reading: Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan.

    Astounded to find that Garry and I were thinking exactly the same thing about chickens. I told him I'd been researching DYI movable pens. We're psyched to be on the same page and will plan and discuss it tomorrow.

  • hazelinok

    Guess what?! It's raining! Big surprise, huh? I am happy that we had a dry day.

    We did go to Texoma and to Tuckers Tower. We were mostly in isolation. We picnicked at a place I remember from childhood and there was no one there. We found my Great Grandma Ida's house in Sherwood Shores. I was thrilled that it was still there and apparently well lived in. A man was out sweeping his driveway. We stopped and talked to him for a moment--from a distance--and I explained that my GGrandma lived there in the 70's before she passed. It is amazing that I remembered it. I was 7 years old the last I saw it.

    AND...he had a garden that he had just prepared to plant.

    We also went to the tower. It was mostly empty. The young lady who worked there said that Saturday would be its last day to be open for awhile due to corona. There were maybe 4 other groups that we saw. However, we were never in the tower at the same time. And we washed our hands, although we really didn't touch anything. Just "looked with our eyes."

    I had to get back for a work meeting at 7, which was held in a large room (and not the conference room) sitting at tables at least 5 feet apart. My work is...weird now. I'm going to have to get creative for sure...and work from home. We will continue to be paid our regular salary for at least another month and then they will see what happens, I guess. My kindergarten job is probably over. (NG had temp part-time jobs advertised for stocking and cleaning). All of my planned spring community events have been cancelled.

    I told my Mom that I did not want her to work at the inner city service center any longer. The center has stopped all services except food, which will be different in that they will take the bags of food to the people outside instead of them coming in and shopping. I will take her shift. The people who depend on this service are people who have nothing. Bless them. They have to be fed, but I can't have my Mom doing it when I'm perfectly capable of doing it especially not that my office will not open and the kindergarten job is over. I'll probably go to my office at least once a week because it's easier to be creative there.

    Dawn, I'm sorry you and Tim aren't coming to the SF...and probably others too. I suppose we could cancel depending on how many are interested in coming. Maybe we could all bring our own sack lunch if we do still meet. And not hug (like we always do) and keep a reasonable distance from each other.

    Also, I was probably SO close to your home today.

    I did not have a chance to find the Christmas lights. I will do that after work tomorrow. I need to go in to get a plan for my future new work. I am to focus on the creative part and someone else will figure out how to distribute it to the right people through the internet. Thank goodness. The creative part is easy. Distributing is hard.

    Speaking of chickens. Their pen is mucky and I hate that. The straw from the fall is broken down. I hope you all can make the right-for-you decisions about keeping them. I LOVE it, but it is a commitment. I can't imagine NOT having them ever again.

    Nancy, let me know what you think of that book. I've heard good things about it.

    HU, I used the rest of turnips to make a really tasty soup. Turnips, kale, and lentils were the main ingredients. Thank you again for sharing them with me.

    NG was out of lentils.

    This post was probably very boring but it's all I've got...

  • Rebecca (7a)

    I am so tired.

    Dawn, heard your county was tornado warned?

    I’ve Got to get my hands in the dirt soon.

    Gotta come up with a way to get plants to each other.

  • dbarron

    A few days ago, it was almost frigid (and raining), this morning (2 am), it's almost balmy (and raining). Hard to believe tomorrow it'll freeze.

    That kind of temperature swing is definitely conducive to tornados :(

    I'm pondering take-out today, to at least give the illusion that I have left the house, though actually avoiding interaction with people. Though I may do delivery, as many places are sponsoring free delivery at the moment.

  • HU-422368488

    The Norman, Moore area almost had a brief spin up around 4 am this morning . It dumped a couple of inches around in places. They've already had some high water recrues around the OKC area.

    Jennifer, careful with flooded roads if you're out and about this morning. I have some more turnips if you want some more. I also got a little overwintered mustard greens but they have that "hot" taste. I need to get those Hungarian pepper plants to you sometime anyway. I'll keep an eye out for Habanero . They'll be around later I sure. I'll be getting some anyway. Don't worry about ordering them. I'll trade for eggs if you have them to spare but take care of other people first. I don't want your money. Just take it as a "donation" from the Forum.

    Saturday morning is when it will freeze here.

    Just now heard the first corona death in the state , in Tulsa.


  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Rebecca, It was just one of those nights. Tim has a radar app on his phone that puts a blue dot on the map to show where you are, and then you can sit there and watch the tornado-warned storm coming at you, which it did. It came straight at us, but it was only like a thunderstorm when it arrived. I believe the tornadic part of the storm had used up its energy knocking down trees and things in Thackerville before it got to us.

    I am so sleepy this morning. We stayed in the tornado shelter far too long last night/this morning, as one Tornado Warning expired and promptly was replaced with a second one. The rain poured down and we had small hail, but the wind here did not get as strong as it did about 7 or 8 miles south of us in Thackerville. There, the storms primary tornadic circulation, as seen on radar, crossed the road near I-35's mile marker one, and power flashes were reported, so they probably had a tornado but I couldn't tell if it ever touched down on the ground. Perhaps we'll find out today. One of our Emergency Mgmt people joked on our GroupMe app that "maybe they should close the casino" as the storm approached, with the joke being that the casino is closed/empty because of the coronavirus.

    When we emerged from the Tornado Shelter, it was like Noah coming out of the ark---we had so much standing water in our yard and driveway that we couldn't see the ground and it was still raining pretty hard. This morning, the rain gauge has 5.1" of rain in it. (sigh) About 1.25" or maybe 1.50" of that had fallen earlier, but the rest fell over a few hours overnight. I cannot find the words to tell you how unenthusiastic we are about receiving 5.1" of rain this week on top of the rain we got last week. It rained on and off all night. I had checked the rain gauge when we came inside early this morning and it only had 3.5" of rain so it did rain a lot more after we came back inside. I know that around the time we came in, the cops and firefighters down at Thackerville were reporting that Hwy 77 was under 3" or 4" of water.

    We got a message last night that one of our firefighters who responded to a fire scene in one of our trucks last night (we weren't here, we were in Ardmore at Chris and Jana's house feeding the birds, watering the plants, etc.) was coughing and had a fever. He works in a DFW metroplex town that has a few diagnosed cases of COVID-19, so this is somewhat alarming. So, I guess today, Tim and I will go to the fire station with disinfectant and try to at least disinfect all the doors, door knobs, light switches, the desk (in case that guy sat there and wrote up the fire report), the desk chair, etc. and then the parts of the truck he would have touched. I cannot believe we have to do this, but it is too risky for the rest of the firefighters for us to not do it. Imagine trying to disinfect a very large fire truck, inside and out. It gives me a headache thinking about it. I have the Lysol concentrate in the brown bottle. I wonder if we can mix up a bucket full of it and wash the whole truck with it. It is a really big truck, and I'm sure the VFD did not plan ahead and buy disinfectant....and I don't want to use up all of mine up there either, but they are our fire family so we will do what we can. Or, we could use chlorox bleach as we have that as well. I'll have to ask the chief if he has a preference. If the rain would stop, we could park the truck out in the sunshine for several days and let the UV rays disinfect the outside of it, but I have doubts about how much sunshine we'll see. On the other hand, it is supposed to be 78 degrees here today, and we have two days in the 80s next week, so sunshine seems somewhat likely.

    This morning we have wet, cranky dogs and cats with muddy paws, and humans who don't even want to go outdoors and get muddy feet. I won't say the humans are cranky, but we're starting the day tired and exhausted and wishing we could go back to sleep, so cranky might be a good word for it.

    Jennifer, When I read y'all were going to Lebanon, I was thinking that was just one county east of ours. When you were there, I'm betting we were in Carter County because that's where we've spent most of our time this week. The kids are back home and I'm glad, but I hate that they cut their trip a day short. They stayed on the beach until almost 3 pm so the kids had as much beach time as possible, and I hope they made lots of happy memories.

    When you were at Tucker Tower, you should have been pretty safe. Carter County hasn't had any diagnosed cases yet, and the closest ones would be in Fannin County, TX, and up there near where you live in central OK. Jana said last week the hospital was so quiet that they canceled some of the nurses' shifts because they didn't need them. It seems that the hospitals here are enjoying the lull before the storm---the worst of the flu season, which had packed the hospitals with people, has ended and coronavirus hasn't yet started here. We're hoping the quiet spell lasts a while. Everything is slowly shutting down around us. Most of the restaurants seem to have gone to drive-thru only operations, and in the metroplex, they have shut down everything---bars, restaurants (can do take-out only), and many forms of entertainment venues. The casinos are closed here, and the almost totally empty parking lot is quite a sight---it never is empty like this. I read a cool story this morning about local whiskey distilleries in the DFW metro who are bottling and giving away (a few are selling) hand sanitizer, which I think is pretty cool.

    I don't want to miss the Spring Fling, but I know the risk of Tim bringing home the virus from the airport. Because a person can walk around asymptomatic for up to two weeks, he could have it, carry it, spread it and not even know it....until he begins feeling sickly himself. I am resigned to the fact that he'll probably bring it home to me. We just aren't going to put anyone else at risk because of his profession and workplace. This is a decision we made weeks ago---that when the virus arrived here, we'd self-isolate at home as much as possible because of his work situation. I've tried so hard to prepare for that happening---with food, medication, supplies, etc. and that involves preparing yourself for it mentally as well, which might be the hardest part of the preparation---accepting that it is going to happen.

    COVID-19 is spreading more quickly than I thought it would in the D-FW metro, and now there is one case up here in the Texoma region---east of us in Fannin County, TX. I feel it creeping closer and closer to us. I'm sure those of you further north of us are seeing the same sorts of spread and deaths up there, and it is just sad.

    Tim has been on vacation this week, but goes back to the office on Monday. I wish he could work from home during all this, but police officers really have to be in the jurisdiction they police in order to do their work, so for him, telecommuting long-term will not work. He has employees taking leaves of absence because their kids' schools closed down and they have no other form of child care and he's been working with them and with HR on that. Policies are evolving rapidly in order to properly handle the situation. This whole week has been sort of a nightmare all around for various reasons like that. So few airlines are flying so few planes with such a small passenger load that I wish they'd just close down the whole airport but they won't. This whole mess is having serious ramifications, financially, for the airport, the airlines themselves, and all the affiliated service businesses---much worse than the post-911 era did and no one knows how long this will go on. I think some airlines likely will not recover. Oh, and note that I said he has been on vacation all week, but through the magic of his laptop and cell phone he has spent a lot of hours working here from home, so it hardly seems like a vacation. I think he could have unplugged a bit more were it not for the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, but he's wanted to be sure he participates in the twice-daily COVID-19 teleconferences.

    I would love to spend some time in the garden---it is a great form of stress relief---but with over 5" of rain this week, that's just not going to happen. Can y'all imagine what the mosquito situation will be like very soon? I could pretend I am three years old and go out and splash in the puddles, but that doesn't even sound appealing.

    dbarron, The weather is just as loony and loopy as it has been all winter long. Today we'll be near 80 degrees, and then the cold front comes through and we'll have days in the 50s and nights in the 30s for 2 or 3 days, and then we'll be back in the 80s (this time, the mid-80s) early next week. Saturday morning could be our last near-freezing temperatures for this spring. We'll see.

    Rebecca, Protect yourself! I hope y'all have gloves and masks to keep you safe from the virus while working. I think of you every day there on the front line with customers who potentially are ill and hope and pray you stay healthy.

    HU, That is sad news. I was hoping that since our little state is so lightly populated compared to some other places that the coronavirus wouldn't find us, but of course it did. People travel so much nowadays and it is easy for a pandemic to race its way around the world in record time nowadays. I'm hoping that OK has done as good of a job as possible of isolating and treating the ill so there will be as few deaths as possible.

    We heard for so long that this virus would be hardest on old people, and perhaps it will be, but down in the DFW metro, a shocking number of the patients are much younger....in their 20s and 30s, and at least a couple are children, including a middle school student. I was looking at their numbers last night, and it seems pretty well distributed over all age groups, unfortunately.

    The high water thing was happening here last night, on both sides of the river. Why can't people stay home when the rain is pouring down like mad?\

    Nancy, I love Omnivore's Dilemma, having read it the year it was published. I love all of Michael Pollan's books. I think the very first book of his I read was A Place of My Own, about his experience building a structure. Then I read Second Nature, which I think was actually his first book, and then later on, all the others as they were published. Much later on I read his on-line account of his experiment with poppy seeds and the legal trouble he found himself in. (Hint, he wasn't planting the poppy seeds.) He has led a very inquisitive and adventurous life.

    We have rain in our forecast, y'all, for today, Saturday and Tuesday, so the rain isn't finished with us yet. I wish it was. I'd love a week or two with no rain just so the soil can dry up, but it isn't likely to happen. We are in a persistent wet pattern and those tend to last for months when they occur here---it always is either feast or famine with the rain. We've been having a rainfall feast, and I keep hoping for a rainfall famine. Maybe I can plant watercress. I have those seeds.


  • Rebecca (7a)

    Dawn, no masks. We do have gloves to wear, if we choose (I choose to), and we are making them last by washing them as we would our hands. I change mine to eat and for a bathroom trip. It’s crazy out here. Strangely, we are crazy busy late in the day, like after 3pm, until around 7, rather than earlier. People crowd in during that time with no regard.

    I have a few cool weather flowers ready to plant (actually past ready) this weekend, and I need to drive by Lowe’s and have them load me with mushroom compost. I need my dirt therapy.

    Eggs are a hot commodity here. Might be worth driving down to HJ for them.

  • HU-422368488

    Hey Marleigh 7a/Okmulgee Co. . What are the storms doing over there in Okmulgee county?


  • hazelinok

    Eggs are a hot commodity, Rebecca. My friend/coworker who has bought from me from the beginning asked if I had extras for a girl in her running group who is doing keto and having trouble finding eggs. Then, she asked if I was going to start charging more for them. LOL. No. And people who usually buy a dozen every other week, now want 2 dozen every week. I can't do all of that. Or my hens can't. I'll help as I can and as my little ladies produce. I left them in the yard today (they have access to their pen and coop) and hope it wasn't a mistake. Their pen is messy and I don't want them walking around on that mess all day. It dries out quickly. Probably all the wind tomorrow should do it.

    HU, my path to work was good. Even the spot on Indian Hills that is sometimes closed due to flooding, was no problem. Phew.

    My sister has a fever. Although, the flu has been going around her workplace.

    Y,all! On Tuesday, a group of men met in our building. Later that day one of the guys got a fever of 105! He went to the doctor and was tested for the flu. He does NOT have the flu, but they wouldn't test him for C because he didn't have enough symptoms. He wasn't in any of my spaces and I'm sure all areas were cleaned, but still! 105 in an adult is very serious. I can't believe they didn't test him for corona. He is a traveler, but hasn't traveled in a couple of weeks.

    I'm just staring at my computer. I am worthless right now as far as getting creative thoughts into a productive product. Maybe if I clean and tidy my office that will help.

    I left my seedlings out against the house, under the eaves. I hope they'll be okay. The rain is supposed to be over until Sunday...and then nothing. So, maybe we'll dry out after all.

    Dawn, we went through the town of Marietta. We tried to get to Tucker Tower coming from the east, but they had closed one of the highways for "water on the road", so we had to go back to I35 and went through Marietta. THEN, we went to Tucker Tower coming from the west. Lebanon isn't what it used to be. I found the spot where my grandparents lake house sat, but I'm pretty sure it's a different house OR they've done remodeling. The old white church that was across the street is gone. The old store on the corner is closed. That's where we would buy our soda and candy. Our parents and grandparents would give us money and shoo us out the door. So, we would buy candy and soda and walk around for hours. The place is sadly...mostly a dump. Mostly. There were a few nice places still.

  • jlhart76

    They're working on transferring all of the office (or as much as possible) to work from home, so I'm prepping everything I can to be ready for weeks-possibly months at home. Is it bad that my main concern is "how am I going to get all my plants home?" I know it seems petty, but it's better than stressing on everything else.

    Tomatoes are starting to take off, right now they're about 2" tall and forming their second or third set of leaves. Some of the peppers are just as big. Think this weekend's plan is to get the tomatoes potted up, then start filling the mineral tubs so they're ready to plant. And the yard desperately needs nowed, so I need to figure out how to mow between raindrops.

  • Marleigh 7a/Okmulgee Co.

    HU—We had two torrential downpours back to back from five this morning, but it appears to have cleared off now. My yard has lots of standing water, and it had barely dried out from the last rain.

    If the rain does abate as they are predicting, my soil should be dry enough to plant in by next weekend. Fingers crossed.

  • HU-422368488

    OK Thanks Mareigh . I was just needing to know if I needed to bring out my chainsaw this weekend.


  • Lisa_H OK

    Hi! Drifting over here for the SF talk and to catch up with everyone. My company has told the employees to work from home if they can. Our office was resistant until we got the news today that a tenant in our high rise building tested positive. It looked a little like rats fleeing a sinking ship. I'm planning on staying in the office. Someone needs to be here to keep the lights on :) but most of our people will attempt to work from home. I'm guessing it will not be terribly effective. It would not be for me! I had already planned to take off tomorrow to do some gardening and go to lunch with friends. Lunch has been scratched. I'm guessing not much gardening will be done either. We got some pretty good rain overnight. I am getting my car oil changed! I'll get one thing off my list. This has been THE LONGEST WEEK. Ack.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Yeah, Dawn, I also loved Omnivore's Dilemma, getting it shortly after it came out. Did you read How to Change Your Mind? I might, when planting slows down. I think what brought it to mind was the discussion Garry and I had last night about raising chickens and maybe even rabbits.

    I will definitely be needing help from all of you re chickens. Beginning with which coop to have for say 6 chickens. I need to check out George's article on rabbits at his Homesteading Edu.

    Going to be lots and lots and lots of folks working from home. . . In my pre-retirement years, some of us worked from home on occasion. I guess it depends on one's particular job whether it works or not. It worked well in our department (the legal department of a large utility corporation).

    The rain situation here. I emptied the gauge this morning before going to Wagoner--it was at 4". And as of now it's at 1.5". I was getting ready to leave for home when I saw Amy had a message to me on FB that said something like, "Nancy you have a big storm coming your way." Since most of her alerts contain the word "tornado," I was a bit concerned--I messaged her back, "You mean like a tornado storm?" (freaking out a bit, lol ). She said "a rotating storm. Just wanted you to be aware. Maybe it's going south and easy of you now." Haha! Thanks, Amy! It WAS a nasty one. . .just like you described earlier, HU. Sheets of rain that made it really difficult to see, nearly all the way home. All of us were driving slower than the speed limit. That reminds me of our trip to Spring Fling, was it 2018 or 2017, when we held it in the rain at Paula's? Both? LOL. At any rate, GDW and I had to change into dry clothes just from loading up to come. And we got there and my hair was wet. And then nearly blinding rain the last 40-50 miles all the way home.

    HJ, that is so cool that you took that trip! Lovely!

    I am SO excited, Dawn, that some of the native plants are germinating. These are the ones I'd stratified for 30 days, and so I planted them and put them right out on the deck. Now that I know that works, I can take a look at the 60/90 day ones. And all the ones I planted on the grow cart are germinating. And the little native plants I ordered from Missouri Wildflowers look great. So this year won't be a total bust for natives. Yay! I also have luscious-looking tithonia I planted in here, yarrow, lots and lots of basil, petunias, hollyhocks, gaillardia, lemon grass, blah blah. . .

    I'm considering topping off the tomatoes and rooting the tops. I think I'll go for it. As you can see, I have a terrible situation with the tomatoes on the grow cart! EXCEPT for the Cherokee Green and the Giant Belgium, which have just germinated and are about a wee inch tall.

    We've been "social distancing" ourselves a week longer than they began telling us to. But today was BAD. I had volunteered to help fix one of the lunch meals for the school kids, but told them I didn't want any bunch of folks helping. So it ended up just being Suzanne, Ozella and me, with John being in and out. It occurred to me later than the two WORST folks to be around right now are Suzanne and John! So if I don't get Covid-19 now, I'm not taking any more chances like THAT! AND I was looking forward to turning in my order (for the school kids) and then picking it up. Nope. Half the items were in-store only. However, I did go late last night, and then again early this morning, so there were few people. And I discovered something. They're getting deliveries now DAILY! (Early morning) Yay--so I even scored more bread this morning.)

    That's all from here. I have to go check out chicken coops. :)

  • luvncannin

    Dawn I am sad to hear you won’t be there but I totally understand. As usual you are only thinking of others. Wish it were so for everyone. Working retail grocery and seeing the panic hoarders with no consideration for the elderly and children has sickened me.

    I am currently at my sons on vac and don’t go home until Saturday. It has been wonderful.

    great planning I did over a month ago. So thankful to be away from work. Our company is treating us so well i Am glad I work there.

    my garden is taking care of itself while I am away. Here are some pics I took before I left

    one of my elderberries and one peach

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    I'm not optimistic of SF happening for us. I of course am hoping. . . let's just take it day by day. I will be so sad if it doesn't happen. But things are very uncertain, not only in our nation, but in our state, right now. . . 100 test kits? I was very uncomfortable at the school today. Meanwhile, I'll put the hordes of plants out on the deck, and invite you all to stop by and help yourselves! ROTFL!!

  • hazelinok

    Nice, Nancy! Your plants look great! When you find a coop you like, let me see it and "critique" it. haha. You want something that is easy to clean....and there's other things too that I don't like about our first one, but didn't know at the time. We still use it for new chickens or broody hens/baby chicks.

    Hi Lisa! It has been a long week...and I'm confused in general.

    HU, I'm impressed with our field. We got quite a bit of rain over the last couple of days and there is no standing water. Perhaps there was this morning--I didn't have time to check it out--but it was fine this afternoon. Wet, but not muddy. Maybe that spot would be a good place for another garden. You'll just have to look at it and see if you want to put a garden there.

    Jen, our yard needs mowed too. It's really bad. It's not so much the grass, it's the henbit, clover and other weeds and such. If it was in the field, I would like it. But the dogs hate it. It's going to need to dry out quite a bit before we can mow. It's is completely different from the other side that I just described to HU.

    Dawn, I'm glad you're okay.

    So, I got it from work and searched the shop for some Christmas lights. Found them and wrapped the tallest columnar tree with them. BUT I have a tomato cage that fit over the small tree so will just drape the frost blanket over it and hold it down with pavers/bricks/rocks.

    The lettuce seedlings still in their little cups nearly drowned. They are on my makeshift potting bench which is under the eaves of the east side of the coop. I thought they were safe from the water. Nope. Luckily they are fine, but I put them in fresh cups. They are about ready to plant into the raised bed. Next week.

    I sprinkled Dixondale fertilizer around the onions. Do y'all get those emails from Dixondale…"it's time to fertilize your onions."?

    It felt good to be outside today.

    I messed up this morning. I knew I was going to leave the chickens out because their pen is so mucky, so they followed me out the door to their yard from the inside of the coop. Normally I shut that door, but didn't care today. THEN, forgot to go back into their coop and open their little door.. They could get into their pen, but not coop. When I discovered my mistake this afternoon and opened their little door, some of the girls literally ran to their nesting boxes! Poor girls had been holding their eggs all day. Three of them did not. I found one egg in their yard and two just outside their little door. Normally I do not leave them in their yard when I'm not home and I'm glad everyone is okay.

    We walked the dogs and I dropped off a dozen eggs to a neighbor. I'm not ready for the cold tomorrow, but wanted to take advantage of the warmth today and get outside as much as possible.

    Oh, I think I figured out how Kane had the injuries to his neck while inside the crate. His collar buckle may have gotten caught in the crate and he violently struggled to get free and the collar rubbed his neck raw. So sad. And he doesn't wear his collar in the crate now. Just information in case anyone else crates their dogs and leave their collars on them.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Nancy, I have not read How To Change Your Mind. Honestly, I wasn't really interested in his experiments with psychedelics, or not as interested in that as I am in a vast number of other subjects, and I have a lot of those other books piled up waiting to be read.

    Rebecca, Most stores here have eggs. They didn't have any for a day or two after the first big wave of D-FW metro area shoppers/scavengers drove north late last week and wiped out everything in every small town store near us, but they've been restocked this week. One difference I've noticed is stores putting a limit on the eggs now---one carton per person.

    Jennifer, I never saw Lebanon or Marietta in their heyday but am sure neither of them is what they once were. We have friends who live north of Marietta, sort of close to Lake Murray, and they have a fish camp at Lebanon where they've spent summers for decades. I guess the fact that they haven't moved to Lebanon to just live there year-round tells us something. Well, Lebanon and Kingston both can flood in some places in wet years, so that could be why too. We used to drive through the Lebanon and Kingston area occasionally when Chris was attending Southeastern in Durant but haven't gone that way in years now, I guess.

    We have been having a perpetual problem all year with access to Lake Murray because the road across the spillway floods every time it rains hard, and sometimes that roadway remains closed for weeks at a time once the lake is pretty high. That may be what y'all encountered. I saw a photo today of another roadway called Willow Flats that is in that area and it was so badly washed out from yesterday's rainfall that it is closed until they can get it repaired.

    I'm surprised they did not do more for that guy with the fever of 105. That is awfully high for an adult.

    Jen, You'll get all the plants home safely---one trip at a time. What other way is there to do it? I would think it would be nice to work from home, but I don't know if I have the discipline and focus to do that myself. I'd be stopping work every 5 minutes to deal with a dog, a cat or a plant.

    Marleigh, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. My son and daughter in law went ahead and threw caution to the wind and planted their 'extra' plants at grade level in their yard about 7-10 days ago, and those plants are seriously under water now. The plants in their new raised beds are fine, and they should be, because they are raised about 15" above grade and filled with a sandy loam mix. We're all wondering if they'll be wishing their mix has clay in it this summer to help hold more moisture, sort of like mine does, but they sure wouldn't want any clay in that mix right now with all this rain that's falling. Our clay in our raised beds is very well amended, but it still holds too much water when rain is falling multiple days per week in large amounts like it has been all year. I am wondering if I'll be able to plant by sometime in April.

    Nancy, So, y'all got the rain too! I am so over all this rain and the rotating storms and the lightning, wind and hail, and our storm season is just beginning. We had a Tornado Watch again this afternoon and it was supposed to last until 10 pm. Well, a thin, tiny line of rapidly moving storms raced through here quickly, and I guess that was it for us, and they cancelled the Tornado Watch for our county maybe 60-90 minutes after they issued it. We were delighted. Tim walked the dogs this afternoon and told me when he came back that we have no yard left. I asked him what he meant and he said our entire yard had washed downhill into the bar ditch and the creek. I already knew our driveway had done that. I guess tomorrow I'll have to look at it and see what he means. I didn't really notice any newly eroded areas in the yard this morning, so maybe he is mostly referring to the driveway which is badly eroded---like a river ran through it, which I guess is exactly what happened last night. We're lucky though. When we drove through Thackerville this morning, we noticed multiple buildings, including the store and several churches had their doors open and were cleaning out flood water and wet debris. The lady in the store said when she arrived this morning there was 2" of water standing in the floor. Thackerville is really flat and doesn't drain well at all, even though it is very sandy soil. I think they obviously have a high water table underground due to their proximity to the river because it is a mess down there every time it rains.

    A lot of my stratified wildflowers are sprouting as well, but I only started about 20% of what I intended to start. Once I heard about the novel coronavirus in China in January and fell down the rabbit hole of trying to study it and learn all I could about it, starting seeds fell onto the back burner. I'm not really sorry either since many of the seeds I would have started would have gone into the new landscape as young plants and it is a landscape we don't have yet. At this point, it is never going to dry out enough to rent a sod cutter and remove the soil, so maybe that whole project slides forward to 2021. I've started telling Tim, somewhat sarcastically, "if we survive the pandemic, maybe we can redo the landscape next year". His work is becoming incredibly stressful, and I'd say it is much worse already than post-9/11 so maybe we should just let him focus on that anyhow. When no one is flying, a lot less money is coming in, and now there's a hiring freeze. I just hope it won't get so bad that they'll lay off people. Oh, I think layoffs will happen in general, but not to the cops, firefighters and paramedics because all those folks provide essential services. The airlines are hurting badly and so are their employees.

    Kim, I'm glad you're having a nice vacation. I bet work is really stressful right now! I hope your little man is doing well. I am sure you're enjoying the time you're spending with him. Your plants look great!

    We went to Muenster to Fischer's Meat Market/Grocery Store this morning to buy some steaks to grill (totally an impulse trip and purchase) and I was shocked at how wiped out their meat section was. I think the metroplex hoarders have been up here visiting Fischer's. I did notice they had put limits on all sorts of popular foods, and I don't blame them. I did notice a small cattle trailer backed into the unloading dock at the meat market section, but couldn't see if it had cows or pigs in it. Either way, it looked like they were going to be slaughtering some meat today or tomorrow. We like going there for exactly that reason---they slaughter their own meat which is raised right there in the area. I like knowing where our food comes from.

    Nancy, Day by day, it seems more and more activities are being shut down, so I guess we'll see if something happens that affects the SF for those of you who intend to go. Things got a lot more drastic in Texas today---reducing group gatherings to no more than 10 people, closing down all bars and restaurants statewide to eat-in dining although delivery and to-go ordering still are allowed, etc. Never in my life would I ever have dreamed we'd see these sort of restrictions, but I do believe they are necessary in order to break the cycle of infection. There are even more stringent rules in some other cities and states, including Pennsylvania and parts of California, and it wouldn't surprise me to see some of those policies eventually make it here to OK as well.

    Yes I get Dixondale's e-mails and also their monthly newsletter and appreciate all their little reminders.

    Today Chris and his family came down to borrow low tunnels, frost blankets, etc. to protect their garden plants on Friday night/Saturday morning. They were sort of stunned by all the water we have standing everywhere. When they came by here on their way home from Galveston yesterday, it was bad but not nearly as bad as it is now. lol. Remember, before they left on vacation he called our place 'swampy' so it isn't like they thought it would be dry. Now their back yard is swampy too. I try to appreciate receiving rain because I know how horribly the garden struggles when no rain is falling, but it is hard to appreciate 3 months of a flooded, waterlogged yard and garden and mud, mud, mud everywhere. I am having a hard time being grateful for this rainfall.

    We do crate Jesse with his collar on, so thanks for the info on Kane. I may have to start taking Jesse's collar off when he goes into the crate, because I can imagine the exact same thing happening to him.

    More COVID-19 deaths in Texas today and a lot more positive tests. It is getting scary. I still think the main reason the numbers are going up is that their testing is just really ramping up, but then they also have community spread occurring because people have been walking around asymptomatic and undiagnosed for at least a couple of weeks down there. I think both of the deaths in the DFW metro were people who were not even diagnosed until after they were found dead. Think about that. I bet they thought they had the flu, but had this wicked COVID-19 pneumonia, and died (hopefully they passed away painlessly in their sleep) without ever knowing how ill they truly were. During the next couple of weeks, I think we'll see the numbers skyrocketing in this country and that could lead to more restrictions on all of us. There is a second case in the Texoma area today--this one in Lamar County, so at least the cases here are still on the Texas side of the river. Everyone who lives along the river though ventures back and forth from one state to the other all the time, so it is just a matter of time before we have it here, closer to us.

    There's more and more wildflowers blooming daily, despite the near-constant clouds, rainfall and mud. My favorite ones right now are the Indian Paintbrush, and I'm eager to see the Texas Bluebonnets join them. Dianthus plants are blooming in the garden. Red wasps are out everywhere, and craneflies as well. Tiny bees are delighted to have so many shrubs and trees in bloom. Ants are scrambling to climb onto and into anything that gets them above the wet ground. I've been killing mosquitoes. It is going to be a long Spring.


  • slowpoke_gardener

    This is my 3 rd year with Covington sweet potatoes.. They seem to keep better, but harder to get slops from. I found mold on two of my potatoes, should I try to start more slips?

    I have to put the picture on here with my tablet, then come back with my computer to edit it because I cant see the tablet and I cant remember how to transfer pictures with my lap top. These potatoes have only been in the flat about a week. I still have potatoes, and these potatoes were not cured. I really dont have a good place to cure potatoes.

  • Marleigh 7a/Okmulgee Co.

    Dawn—Our redbuds popped yesterday, so spring is here for sure. I put in raised beds last year; my garden is south-facing and on a slight incline which puts us downhill from the neighbors, so anything on grade gets washed away in a bad rain. (We live on a small bluff above a creek, so everything drains in that direction. Thankfully they arranged the building site so we have a little “moat” that collects the water and funnels it away.)

    My garden mix is definitely lighter than the full clay in-ground, but I am constantly amending it to make it lighter. The good stuff always breaks down and leaves me with clay again!

    A friend and I are going to get some potatoes and perennial onions (potato onions) going this year, I think. I’m going to try potatoes in containers, since they take up more space than I like to spare otherwise. We shall see how it goes.

    As regards the pandemic, I totally agree, Dawn, that this has been going on far longer than we know. The news from Italy is heartbreaking, and I hope all the drastic measures help us prevent it from happening again. My family is all in California, and the governor ordered the whole state to shelter in place, effective at midnight last night. My sister was prepared and is helping my parents, and so far the cousins and aunts are all accounted for and okay. The father of a friend here went to visit California last week, and is now staying indefinitely; luckily he is with his daughter.

    Retail workers at my husband’s store are getting sick and being sent home almost every day. No idea what they are sick with, but illness is going around. The lesson from Italy was that total shutdown at once would have done more—when they quarantined only the north, people fled south and spread it everywhere. That leads me to believe that New York and other states will likely be issuing orders soon, and we will probably not be far behind. Make sure you have supplies ready, everyone!


  • HU-422368488

    Jennifer ,Seems like you got good drainage if water didn't stay pooled up for very long at a time. From what I've seen from your pictures a garden there is certainly feasible. The question is, do YOU want a garden there and what does Tom think about all this. I guess I need to meet Tom one of these days. And you said you don't want to till. I don't know much else to do if you want a larger garden space. .The whole area wouldn't have to be done all at once. We could do some portion of it and see how it works out like on an experimental basis.And then if it works out it could be expanded on out larger. If it doesn't work out , it could be converted to raised beds or solarized or whatever.

    Another question , can you burn there (legally) ,as in a controlled burn ? It would make it easier if the top growth (grass) was burned off. And then there would be less for the tiller to ball up on. Of course if the top grass growth isn't much , might could get by without burning. If I was to burn I would till out the boundary perimeter for a fire break , douse a little gasoline on it and light it afire.

    But do it on a still day , no wind much like on a still morning and have a water hose stretched out on the ready just in case. And then till it immediately after the burn to to put out any hot spots.

    Then the grass roots would be exposed which could be pulled up , raked out and all that. Its going to take some some effort , no way around it. And then if its red clay it'll probably need some amending, like manure or "Black Cow" and worked in with the tiller. "Black Cow " is pretty cheap . I'd be willing to help out on any costs.

    Another consideration , how's this going to work out with this social distancing thing now. If I'm there for very long at a time, I'm probably going to need , uh, "restroom facilities" .Do I need to rent out a " portable outhouse" and sit it out there like the construction workers (LOL)?

    I'll leave the ball in your court. Whatever you all decide , but it needs to be decided before too long or the season will get away. If it's a go, I need a weeks notice so I can get my tiller back up here.


  • hazelinok

    I had to pull out the winter coat this morning.

    Nothing new to add except (this is mostly for Jen) the Matt's Wild Cherry sprouted! It was the only one in your packets of seed that had not. Honestly, those little cups were sitting on a discard pile when I noticed they had sprouted. I'm so excited about this. All 24 varieties have at least one seedling now.


    Tom doesn't care about adding another garden as long as it doesn't block a truck getting to his shop or the back of the property. He doesn't love gardening so wouldn't be a ton of help. He does help in some ways like building raised beds. Our first gardens were tilled (and he did it), but those tilled spots gradually became raised beds with woodchip pathways. The raised beds are all sizes and shapes. I want it to be pretty at some point with a picket fence and cute gates. We also tilled up a spot in the back that was supposed to be for peas and pumpkins. That was our first year here and I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't realize that sweet peas don't last long here and pumpkins aren't easy because of SVB. THEN, the spring of 2015. It was so wet that I just couldn't keep up with it and it went back to weeds/grass. But that spot was in a different place.

    I am not strong enough to till. It's not that I'm not strong, but I'm more of an endurance type of strong and not brute strength. I can rake out Bermuda and weeds. We have a burn pile, so, yes, burning is allowed here.

    Honestly, it's just up to you. I know that you were worried about your garden and if you want to garden here, that is fine and great. I will help as much as I can. Tom might become more interested if there is some sort of food shortage and/or people can't get access to food. I would want to grow more to share with family and friends. I just don't know how much time I would have to work another garden right now, but I would help for sure.

    Will you try to keep gardening in Okmulgee? When would you come to this garden? And of course you could use the bathroom. There's a 711 about 10 minutes both ways down Sooner, but that's a bit of a drive. Or you could be like Tom and Ethan and go outside, which men/boys seem to enjoy greatly for some reason that I don't understand. haha. But, if you're working here, you can use the bathroom. This would be your garden that is growing at our house. If it seems overwhelming, it's okay too. We don't have to do another garden this year.

    Speaking of, the church garden guy wants me help with that again. He and I garden so differently. There are a few raised beds, but he tills a spot for corn and other things. I looked at it a couple of weeks ago and it is a disaster. He's gonna have to clean that place up first.

    Why does it have to be cold today? Why can't we work outside? Whine.

  • HU-422368488

    ... Well I just got back from Ellisons and got a couple more flats of tomatoes . They don't have Habanero or any other pepper plants out just yet. They are pretty good at getting in plants at the right time of the season ,unlike the box stores that get things in too early to put out.They got some young tomatoes plants in 6-packs , Celebrity, Black Krim , Cherokee purple,Better Boy ,Early Girl. minus the ones I grabbed. And some cool season plants too and onions and seed potatoes.

    The owner there was telling me that they're a little hesitate about getting in more plants next week on account of this virus thing. That was one thing I was worried about so I'm glad I got some while I still can.

    I just had a horrible thought. What if there is a travel ban or shelter in place thing and I can't even drive out to my garden even if its dry enough to plant or after I get it planted or get to my tillers or seed stash . Now that would be a "pisser" . I guess I'll get arrested for driving out to my garden. Is this Nazi Germany or what? I may just haul back my tillers and seeds back with me this weekend , just in case.

    What a mess.

    " Will you try to keep gardening in Okmulgee? "

    Jennifer , Yes ,if I can unless it just stays too wet or if there is a lockdown over this virus thing and can't get out there.

    " When would you come to this garden? "

    Sunday afternoon would be my best times. and maybe on some evenings during the week if I can get off work in time.

    " Or you could be like Tom and Ethan and go outside, which men/boys seem to enjoy greatly for some reason that I don't understand "

    I can do what the boys do. I'm from the country.Just need to know where (LOL).

    " I am not strong enough to till "

    I'll handle any tilling or anything else heavy duty. If you can handle a hoe that would be good. I'll learn you how if you don't know. https://www.google.com/search?q=hoeing+the+garden&rlz=1C1CHZL_enUS689US690&oq=hoeing+the+garden&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.20518j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 yes

    " Tom doesn't care about adding another garden as long as it doesn't block a truck getting to his shop or the back of the property. "

    Just mark off the boundaries .


    " I would want to grow more to share with family and friends. I just don't know how much time I would have to work another garden right now, but I would help for sure "just be be just as

    Its OK. I'll handle the majority of it. I might could even help with the church garden as well.

    " This would be your garden that is growing at our house "

    It would be both our gardens. The way I see it , it could be extra space for beans , some corn , and some tomatoes. If you have other preferences that's OK too. Pumpkins, melons whatever.

    May God bless us all !


  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Larry, I wouldn't worry about a little mold. It usually will go away. You could mix a little baking soda with water and spritz it on the moldy areas to change the pH and see if that takes care of the mold. Better air flow also likely would help.

    Marleigh, I'm glad Spring is popping. Nothing looks prettier in Spring than the redbuds. I believe our first began blooming last week.

    We are in a creek hollow with higher ground to our south, so water drains down onto our property (and also under my garden like an underground river) for ages from the higher ground next door for ages after it rains. I'm used to it. The house and detached garage/shop building occupy the flat, high ground. Everything else has rivers, creeks, swamps, springs etc. running through it. We do have to work hard to prevent erosion in the front yard itself as that is where the flat land ends and the sloping land begins.

    Because my husband cannot abide really tall weeds and grass, he is out mowing the yard with the riding lawnmower, and driving through big puddles to do it. He is so OCD about mowing. Y'all please pray for him because this rain is making him lose his mind. Now our yard will have big old riding lawnmower ruts in it, and he won't think that is a problem because at least the grass and weeds will be short. Driving up our road earlier today, we saw that all of our neighbors have badly eroded driveways and their bar ditches are full of gravel, just like ours. As soon as it dries out a bit more (like, you know, once the gravel no longer is sitting in standing water in the bar ditches), the men will be out with their tractors trying to scoop up their driveway gravel and aggregate and return it to their driveways.

    The daily death totals from Italy just break my heart. It is so awful now, and medical personnel are contracting the virus and dying too. Could things be any sadder? In a country that worships social media personalities, athletes and TV/movie actors as heroes, I hope we Americans are taking notice of all the true heroes on the front line, both here and abroad, who are sacrificing their own safety and sometimes their own lives, for the sake of their patients. I also hope your family remains safe in Cali. We have a niece and her family out there, and she's working hard to keep her 3 young boys busy and occupied and safe at home.

    I'm sorry to hear retail workers at your husband's store are getting sick. That is very concerning. I hope they only have some of the seasonal allergies, bronchitis, cold, flu or whatever....anything but this awful COVID-19. I think we tend to forget that right now in this country, the retail workers who work in the stores (and supplying the stores), ensuring we all have access to food and other supplies, are performing a heroic job too. I certainly would rather see the stores shut down temporarily than to see the retail workers' lives put at risk.

    I have been in favor of a full nationwide shut-down since early February but nobody (but my husband and son) was hearing my opinion and agreeing with me. : ) I am worried we are getting past the point where it will help. If only every state would quickly do a full lockout for a month or six weeks, and if only all possible people would comply. So many cops, firefighters and medics are getting sick as well, some of them with COVID-19 and with others it just is too early to tell.....my son texts me news of positive test results in the public safety area all the time. In addition to the retail folks, public safety folks, and medical folks we have a lot more essential personnel risking their health to keep society going---the people who work at the gas stations, utility companies and day care facilities, for example. We owe them all a debt of gratitude, and I hope they all stay safe and don't get sick with COVID-19.

    The number of cases worldwide and certainly here within the USA are increasing so much daily that it is just horrifying. As awful as those numbers look today, I think a week or ten days from now, we'll be looking back at today's numbers and thinking these really were the good old days this week and we just didn't know it.

    Jennifer, Tim and I dragged out the winter coats here today, but only the mid-weight ones. Tomorrow morning we'll likely need the heavyweight ones. We had to drive to the auto parts store in Gainesville, TX to get a water pump for the pickup truck and it is bizarre enough to drive past the closed/empty WinStar Casino, but then driving past empty restaurants where we might have enjoyed lunch or dinner today is just as strange. There still were tons of people out at the gas stations and retail stores though. The Red River is running a bit high. I think it was at 19 feet this morning and still rising, but it is nothing, so far, like we had last year.

    It is cold today so it can be warm next week? You know how Mother Nature is. She doesn't let us have Spring all of a sudden. She has to take us on a warm-cold-hot-cool roller coaster ride for a few weeks before she settles down and lets the spring weather even out. Remember, we had an Easter/April Fool's Day freeze and/or frost last year.

    In our yard today, down near the mailbox where the clay soil drains horribly and bluebonnets absolutely should not grow, we have two bluebonnets beginning to bloom today. It is really early for them, but they look so pretty right there beside the Indian Paintbrush that began blooming earlier in the week. Blood root is mixed in with them, so we are getting the red-white-blue wildflower look that I love in early to mid Spring. That's really the only new sign of spring today, but the Burford hollies and possumhaw hollies are on the verge of blooming. Some of them may be in bloom today. I didn't walk around in the soggy yard to check all the plants.

    We usually go out to eat on Friday nights, and tonight we're staying in. It is going to be hard to get used to doing this. I really think it is just a matter of time before Gov. Stitt puts the same restrictions on bars and restaurants that other states are enacting, so we figured we might as well get used to staying home. At least we already do cook a lot from scratch and we are well-stocked so we can continue doing so. I feel sorry for people who don't like to cook and aren't used to doing it. We did not go grocery shopping in Marietta today, but went by the store and there were a LOT of Texas license plates in the parking lot. It looks like the DFW shopping hordes have returned this weekend, same as last weekend. I hope the increased business at the few stores we have in town is helpful for the local merchants but also not depleting supplies that local residents need too.

    I'm not seeing social distancing at work when we drive by garden centers and nurseries---people who want plants simply want plants and are crowding into the stores to get them!


  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    HJ, regarding church guy and you gardening so differently. Ain't THAT the truth about people and how many different approaches there are. . . I TOTALLY get it. I had approached our pastor last fall about a church garden. I don't like being so persnickety, but I guess I am. I would be reluctant to enter into a team venture with them.

    The school's a totally different deal. They agree with my approach, and I have carte blanche, pretty much, in what things we're growing and how we're growing them. (Plus, I'm furnishing 85% of the plants for them. . . LOL) The disappointing news from the LEC garden today is that John said that beautiful center bed has settled (helped along by the 5" or so of rain the past 2 days. Pounded that bed down. I asked how much; he said, "Oh, 6-8 inches. . .) I said, "So HALF." Oh well. Nice to have it forcefully settled right from the get-go. And so I won't be planting anything in THAT bed until the crew can work it next Tuesday and/or Wednesday.

    And so unfair. He said the kale I planted was 8-10 inches tall. Blach. Here, it's about 5 inches tall. I'll be anxious to get there tomorrow to see what's going on. He said a lot of stuff is looking good.

    HJ, I KNOW!! WHY oh why does it have to be so COLD. The forecast for us is a low of 32. I don't have anything out yet that could be hurt by a frost, so I'm not at all worried.

    Dawn--regarding social distancing. . . the message has been slow to get out here, also. I'm tickled pink that we live out of town, and also that we both like being hermit-like. Going to work in the garden in town won't bother me, as we're not going to be having any groups in the garden. Makes me sad, but at least the garden will be there when people can come in again. Those who are working in there--our work crew--understand to stay spread out and to wear gloves. And I may not even be there for that work, but rather just stick to planting.

    And there are those in town, including children AND adults, who really don't have any plans to follow any rules--kind of like the college kids in Florida. BUT, the stores are shutting that nonsense down.

    I'll whine along with you Dawn, about not getting to go out and eat. :( Things are just in limbo here with plants.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Dawn, thanks for the info on the sweet potatoes. I put them on a heat mat under my lights to dry the soil. I also wiped the mold off. I most often just cut off the sprouting end and put it into the soil, and eat the rest of the potato, but we still have plenty of potatoes, plus I wanted to try this method to see how it worked. Those small potatoes are some we saved for our little Yorkie. He loves sweet potatoes, but I have to chew them for him now that he has few teeth.

    In the past it seemed that the potatoes sprouted slower. I was afraid that I may not have slips in time for planting. Last year I was running late and just planted small potatoes on one of my two rows, it worked, but I think I had rather have slips.

  • hazelinok

    HU, my neighbor just showed up for eggs. No warning. haha. I had to pull some out of my stockpile from the shop refrigerator. He is a neighbor that I can't refuse....he helps us so much with so many projects. I have a dozen waiting on the counter for one of Tom's bffs. ANYWAY, I was telling him that you might do a garden at our house and he said, "he can till up a garden at my house." So...you might have plenty of areas to garden. lol. His property is only about 3 acres from us, but it's oddly very rocky. How strange is that?

    Speaking of eggs, I might have to start turning people away. I'm to that point right now.

    Ethan and I got out this morning because I needed to purchase some exercise props for my new "virtual" pilates class. Ross, TJ Maxx and Home Goods have those items for cheap. Guess what? Those stores are all closed. We looked at Academy, who had sign on the door "Limit 2 boxes of ammo".

    Ended up going to Target to buy the props and picked up a few groceries while there. Here's my report: they had eggs. Ground beef was gone except 3 organic packages, of which I purchased one. Fresh produce was well stocked. Lentils, had only 5 or 6 packages of which I purchased one.

    However, my neighbor who just came to my house and who is still here (sigh) said Crest is out of eggs.

    (BTW, I'm pretending that I am working at my job from home. haha)

    We also like to eat out on Friday. I made Pinto Posole instead.

    I'm hungry all the time lately. I'm trying to follow the Daniel Fast and have been about 90% successful, but haven't lost any weight, although that is not the point of it. BUT, I've upped my workouts too. Tired of being hungry. Maybe good practice for the coming apocalypse. (This crazy, unruly hair might need dreadlocks for my apocalyptic look...if I survive.)

    Dawn, I haven't seen Indian Paintbrush here yet. We only have henbit and some other tiny purple-ish silvery tiny flower weed/wildflower. And lots of clover. Yarrow leaves but not flowers yet. Oh, and some other wildflower/weed that has a white flower.

    So, the lights on the columnar tree are on. About half an hour ago I went out to shut the chickens up and there was a car parked to the east of our property. I wonder if they were trying to figure out what the heck was going on. LOL The tree looks weird FOR sure. I'll come back and post a pic of it. (thanks to my new iPhone 11, I can take good night pics)

    I did not cover the onions. They were planted maybe 3 weeks ago. Has there been a freeze in the past 3 weeks??? I sure hope they do okay. I did put a frost cloth on the small columnar tree, which you can see in the background of the Christmas light tree. And put an old plastic shower liner over the spinach and brussels sprouts.

    The asparagus is now coming up. This is the earliest it's ever come up. Seriously it's usually closer to May. The dang horseradish has decided to show up too. And all the herbs and fall pansies look so pretty. Tonight will shut them all down.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    Yesterday I tackled the herb/ornamental drawer of my seed cabinet. (I recently culled old seeds from the vegetable drawers). I pulled them and sorted by things to start indoors, those to direct sow and those to plan for fall or winter sowing next year. I originally had all my stuff alphabetical. Then it was cool season/warm season. I'm now thinking about separating as I mentioned above. It is harder to put seeds in the drawer that way, but makes more sense to me to store them the way I'll need them.

    My order from Companion plants also came in.

    It is time to move some stuff off the light shelves outside. I'm going to use one of the 4 shelf greenhouses outside. I have way too many seeds to start inside, and way too many to direct sow. Daughter wants plants. I'll see what I can do for her.

    Have a good weekend.

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

    Oh, yeah, I ordered some sprouting seeds that should be hear soon. About the time the lettuce is big enough to pick.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    She can have some of mine, too, Amy. Wish she were here right now! I'm giving most of them haircuts and then out to the deck they go. How fast can I harden them off is the question! Ha! I hope to have them in the ground by Thursday. We'll see how they look by then. Where do you have your outside 4-shelf greenhouses sitting? Are they in a protected area?

    That was a funny post, HJ! So did the neighbor ever get tired of you working instead of visiting? LOL And if you squint your eyes and look at the picture of the tree, one could almost make it be a person!

    I've been in a holding pattern for the past 10 days or so, watching all the indoor things get too big. Hence the haircuts today. I have to exercise some sort of discipline over these buggers.

    I was going to get to town to mail seeds today, Larry, but gardening activities were cancelled. So the seeds are just going to have to wait until Monday! AGGH.

    Marleigh. Is your name pronounced Marley or Marlay? :)

    Gonna go finish the peppers' haircuts. Later.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    I just got back from Walmart, made a big score there. They were restocking shelves and let me have two carts of cardboard.

    I went out to check the garden this morning and it is much too wet, and, my Mantis is not up to the job. So, I decided to just mow, put down cardboard, then compost to hold the cardboard in place. I will work a small spot between the cardboard by hand to place a plant. This is the first year I have ever thought about spraying my garden with roundup, but it may come to that. I think a lot of stuff in my north garden may rot , just like last year.

    I have the middle buster installed on the Kubota, I am tempted to make a couple of passes in the north garden just to see if I can mound up a bed for some plants. Another option I may have is just dump a row of compost and plant in that. One of these days it will quit raining and my soil will go from soup to sidewalk in two weeks.

    Well I have rested now, I have more to talk about, but better get to work.

  • hazelinok

    Nancy, he never figured it out. He had Tom to talk to, though. haha!

    I finally was ready to place my SESE order....aaaand, they currently are not taking orders.

    We did our weekly shopping today as normal. Tom is so funny 'cause he had a plan for hamburger meat. I said, "there is no hamburger meat." He didn't believe me and was surprised that he couldn't find a single package. After that, he started throwing stuff in the cart. It didn't really sink in until he couldn't find what he wanted, although he had seen empty shelves for over a week. We did score the last package of Quilted Northern. haha.

    We picked up a box of turkey breasts for Tom to smoke. There are several families we know who have "lost" family members OR are sick (not with corona). They're sorta falling through the cracks right now.. So, my mom wants to take a dinner to each of them.

    And, other than that we mowed the backyard. OR tried to mow it. It was still fairly wet. But we made a dent in it. And the cuttings went to the chicken pen which will help keep it from getting so muddy from the rain tonight.

    Our property looks bad right now. It's just a mess. I can't wait to get out there and put fresh wood chips on the garden pathways and weed and plant. I know all of you feel the same way.

    The peppers need to be up potted or fertilized. They are still in the peat pellets. I thought about doing it tonight, but the boys need to get their arsenal off the kitchen table. They took an ammo shopping trip this morning. Maybe it's how they feel when I have my seedlings spread out everywhere.

    That's about all that is happening here. Maybe gonna find a movie and chill out. My exercising is done for the day. Dishes are done. So why not?

  • slowpoke_gardener

    I need to thank you ladies, I am not sure which one I first read of the Ashe County pimento peppers, but those are the prettiest pants. They are too pretty for vegetables, they should be flowers.

    I took compost to both gardens today. I am going to try to build a small area to plant the plants that are in much need to get off the light shelf, and then pot up other plants that need the extra room.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Amy, It is a good thing we all hoard seeds. Baker Creek has pulled down their website, so anyone wanting to order seeds now is out of luck. It is partly because they've been doing a massive amount of business lately and partly related to COVID-19 issues and needing to clean and disinfect their workspace. I imagine they are not the only seed company with this sort of issue.

    Nancy, It gets cold just because it can. Perhaps Mother Nature likes flexing her power a little bit. Hopefully the cold is over now. I think it is over for us down here and I hope next week's 80-degree days dry out the soil a lot. That probably won't happen just because we need so desperately for it to happen.

    I hope people follow the social distancing rules as the number of cases are exploding (likely some of that is because everyone is testing more now) and we all need to remember that people who are infected can walk around for up to two weeks without feeling ill or showing one single symptom---so none of us can just look at somebody, anybody, and assume they are well. Too many people appear to be taking this lightly and taking the kids to the park to play together, for example. Now, if the point of canceling school is to keep kids from congregating and passing the virus from one to another, what good does it do if parents are letting all the kids get together?

    I was just reading news out of Tarrant County, TX, (Fort Worth), where I grew up, and hell has frozen over. The county has banned in-person church services, which I think is not going to go over well with some of the religious folks there. The churches can, however, film or live stream a worship service that has no live audience participating and I am sure some of them will do that. Some of them regularly live-stream their worship services every week already and have for years for folks who couldn't make it to the church in person. I hope everyone cooperates to slow down the spread of the virus. North Texas has multiple new cases daily, and a substantial number of them are community spread.

    Larry, The cardboard was a nice score! I remember well all the rotting plants last year and hope to avoid that by planting later this year, but I'm not sure if it will help. We have an 80% chance of rain overnight, so I'm just hoping and praying it misses us. I'm hoping the raised beds dry out enough this week to plant. We'll see.

    Nothing special happened down here today. The river crested and is receding. We stayed above freezing---34 degrees at Burneyville but warmer at our house. The same wildflowers are in bloom, with some of the mid-season varieties blooming at the same time as or even earlier than some of the early-season varieties. It is bizarre. Tim mowed some more, despite wickedly wet ground, so he is a happy camper. The hollies are blooming now, thoroughly delighting the bees. Considering we're in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, our ground is fully saturated and has huge standing puddles, and fire ants are climbing high to get out of the wet ground, life still is good. Tomorrow I have some fire ant killing to do though because they are wrong if they think they are going to live in raised beds, the tornado shelter or on the porch. It's always something, and this weekend it apparently is fire ants.


  • hazelinok

    Dawn, I'm not seeing much action anywhere, other than the grocery store, but that's because everything else is closed. People are out taking drives. They're just not used to being still at home. Maybe in some places people are still getting their kids together, but around here, I really think people are staying in other than the grocery store trips and drives.

    I didn't hear one single cough or sneeze while out. People are holding that business in. haha. AND, the stores are handing out wipes as you enter the store. AND are cleaning the carts like crazy! Once it's used, it's cleaned. We picked up a fast food sandwich for Ethan and they give you a little packet with a hand wipe.

    Our church isn't meeting until Easter...and that may not happen either. So--that is part of my "creative" task--finding a way to teach over the net. I have figured out Zoom, so could possibly teach a class that way. I saw that another church had "porch dropped off" ziplocks of game/craft supplies to each family so they could follow along with the online class. Our office is closed, but I'll have to go in next week. We just won't be letting people in. We will put food supplies out in the outside "snack pantry".

    Dawn, like I mentioned in my last post, SESE isn't taking orders either, as of yesterday. THE day I was about to place my order. I probably have enough seed, but wanted a few back ups. Oh well.

    Larry, congrats on the cardboard! Nancy introduced me to Ashe County 2 years ago, and it is my favorite sweet pepper. This will be my third year growing it.

  • Nancy RW (zone 7)

    Isn't a load or cardboard a huge score! (I have a load in the garage! Gotta get em broken down and taken into the school. Then they'll get a big score!). And what were YOU doing at Walmart! Thought Madge and you were in lockdown!

    Dawn, our Methodist churches in OK have been shut down, too. We quit going last week. Get this, though. A week ago yesterday we got a letter from the pastor saying thankfully we were in a low risk area. (I read that and thought, "Oh yeah???? According to whom?" (I believe the word circulating in the OK gov't at that time was that we're pretty safe. And then a couple/few days later, we hear there are fewer than 100 testing kits for OK. Gotta love the transparency around this little virus, no?). At any rate, I almost guffawed about the blind statement, "Thankfully we're in a low risk area." GDW agreed with me that we had no idea what the truth was according to so many conjecturing-without-fact sources. Well of course less than a week later things have kind of exploded. I believe the health care people on the front lines--certainly no politicians. I am angry about all the cover-ups.

    Dawn, you probably saw me on FB. I did it again. Planted the tomatoes and peppers a month early, as it turns out. So ticked off with myself!! But this year, I saved the tops of all the ones I cut in half, rooted them in water with actual IDs on them! So we will do the test. We'll find out for sure if it matters. I lopped off the larger peppers, too. Nearly brought tears to my eye. They were such gorgeous pepper plants. Ahh well, I'm sure they will be again, in short order. Nearly everything else is in great shape--so hardening off began today, and hopefully I can get rid of a good many of these seeds by Thursday.

  • jlhart76

    Our world church (administration for all congregations worldwide) sent a message out last week closing all congregations for 3 weeks, then today extended it to May 1. That means no Easter at church. But we've had a push to add online services so we at least have options. Last week I joined a congregation in Kansas about midway through (they start at a different time than we do), then jumped on one of our Canadian group's service. Right now I'm working on our Maundy Thursday service, trying to modify it so we can do it at home. I have to admit, having this technology is amazing. We've been saying for years that church is more than a building, now it's time to prove that's what we really believe.

    Got the yard mostly mowed, still need to weedeat the backyard. Hopefully I'll get it done tomorrow. Everyone got a few hours outside in the fresh air, then back in the garage tucked in for bed. My wintersown plants seem to be doing pretty well, I can't wait to take the plastic off & see (instead of trying to peer through the plastic and condensation).

    HJ, glad the last tomatoes finally sprouted! I'm still learning how to save seed so I was worried those weren't viable. Nice to know I know what I'm doing! Especially since our roommate (husband's sister) is now here & interested in gardening. She's insistent on growing watermelon, pumpkin and gourds, even though I told her those things took up a lot of space & we're kinda limited here. But I think I have it figured out. My brother gave me a bunch of mineral tubs, so if we plant the watermelon in those in the back yard & put some trellises or tomato cages around them (to help keep puppies away more than anything)...then we could grow them vertically up the fence. Or she's decided we just need to put in a better fence & move part of the garden back where I had it. So I'm letting her take the lead on that project. Either she'll succeed where I didn't (entirely possible, considering my lack of handyman skills) or she'll decide to try something else.

  • slowpoke_gardener

    Nancy, we are supposed to be grounded. I was trying to figure out how I could get some of these plants in the ground. I called CV's and walmart to see if I could get some cardboard. Walmart told me that if I could come down right now, I could have some today.

    I went down, expecting I could just go to the back door and they could toss some out, but I had to go inside to where they were restocking. I felt bad because I had told my daughter I would not go anywhere. But I had a talk with her and my granddaughter a few days ago and told them how uncomfortable I was about them having to go get stuff for me, and that I was old and used up anyway and should be the one getting things for them. They did not see things just as I do, but I think they understand. I told Madge that I have a ticket on the two most popular ways to leave this old earth and I should happy about that, and while I am here I am going try to use this old body plum up. They don't like to hear me talk like that, but its true. Those of us that are about shot should be the ones taking all the risk, because we have already lived a good life, besides it would break my heart to think about my granddaughter going out and doing something for me and it ending up costing her, her life.

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    Jennifer, Thanks for the seed report on SESE. About 6 or 8 weeks ago I saw the handwriting on the wall with the coming pandemic and ordered my seeds for both the 2020 and 2021 garden from them. I'm glad I did. And, see there, I am being optimistic and believing I'll survive the pandemic or I wouldn't have ordered seeds for next year.

    I'm glad you're seeing signs that people are being proactive, and I hate that churches may not be able to have their usual Easter-related services and activities. We have to remember that a pandemic is such an incredibly danger public health risk and daily life, as we know it, is changing a lot.

    I know that people are not used to quarantining, and I'd rather be out and about than stuck at home all the time, but I truly feel the time to stop going out as much as possible and to stay home as much as possible is now. The new cases in Texas are exploding now, and many of them are community-acquired, meaning that the patient had no known contact with anyone else who has been diagnosed with the disease, did not travel anywhere outside the local area and, thus, obviously became infected from someone in their local community. I expected the numbers to move pretty fast in TX once I saw the initial reports, but they're increasing probably a little more quickly than I was thinking they would. At least we are not in the same condition here yet as a few other states like Washington, California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Louisiana. Texas was ahead of OK by only a couple of weeks in terms of COVID-19 cases spreading, so we still have a chance to react quickly here and maybe have it not get as widespread as quickly.

    I am not going to violate anybody's privacy here, but want to say that our family knows some people who are ill, have been tested and are awaiting their test results. It is shocking when you hear news like that, and that is especially true when it is people just like you who have been pretty careful, only going to work and back home again, and just grocery shopping or buying gasoline as needed---no travel, no going to the mall or the gym back when those still were open, no obvious crossing paths with infected people as far as they knew, etc. I think for most people in north central TX near us, the time to stay home and stay away from people probably was about 2 weeks ago, and now that they have community spread, it is almost too late. Their governor is issuing new directives and restrictions almost daily, so maybe they can halt the virus' spread. In OK, if we all start being as proactive as possible now, maybe most of us can avoid the virus as it makes its first official round through our state. OK hasn't had too many cases yet, but I've noticed that as soon as one case pops up in any given county, a second or third one is not far behind. We need to change our mindset now, if we haven't already, to avoid becoming one of those cases. I just hate this, but at least we all can retreat to our gardens and keep ourselves busy at home. I just want to add that Tim and I have one set of rules to keep track of on the south side of the river and another on the north and it is confusing. We'll want to go somewhere, so we'll say to one another "is it safe?" and then we have to figure out if that sort of place is open on the Texas side or the Oklahoma side, or both, or neither. It wears out my brain to the point that I think it is just easier to stay home.

    I am very concerned about small businesses all across the nation. Here in our county, one guy made a list that since has been forwarded around via various apps and FB, telling us which small businesses are still open, what their operating hours are now, whether you can call ahead and order what you need, etc. We need to remember to patronize our local, small businesses so we don't lose them from our community for good.

    Nancy, I am angry about all the coverups too. I have been tracking this beast since mid-January and was just beside myself with frustration from early February onward because I thought that was our nation's best chance to stop it in its tracks, and there stood all the politicians implying or even stating it was basically the flu, which it is not, and that it would go away as the weather warmed up, which also is false. The only thing I knew for sure at that point was that the government wasn't going to act in time to protect us, so we had to do everything possible to protect ourselves. I think Tim and Chris thought at first that maybe I was a little too obsessed with it, but then they got on board pretty soon thereafter as they watched it spreading across the world. One of the things I thought was heartbreaking was when Jana told me that she and Chris were going to go ahead and take the girls to the Texas Gulf Coast last week so they could make memories that the girls would have to hang on to "in case anything happened". That told me that Chris and Jana both clearly understand the front-line risks they face in their careers and know that tomorrow or next month or next year is not guaranteed for any of us. How I wish their vacation could have been just a normal vacation with the kids, not marred by fears of what comes next in this pandemic. Both of them expect to be exposed and quarantined, a concern heightened by the lack of proper PPE to keep them safe. No entity---no city, state, county, hospital, fire department, police department, nursing home, etc. has enough PPE stockpiled to deal with this crisis. Since most of it is made in China, and China has been shut down production-wise since early January, there's no quick relief in sight either. I fear for all our first responders and medical personnel.

    Jen, I agree that modern-day technology offers us options not available in previous times of crisis. I'm glad you're finding a way to make it work for you.

    Larry, I totally understand how you feel. Tim and I said we wouldn't go out and about when the virus started getting close to home, and then he took a week of vacation and we went somewhere pretty much every day, even knowing we might be exposing ourselves to infection. Sometimes being bad is fun, and I'm glad we were able to eat at a couple of our favorite restaurants in Texas before the governor shut them down at mid-week last week. We do carry wipes with us everywhere, and have hand sanitizer in our vehicle and I carry a mini-bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse. I hope we've done enough to stay safe. We didn't hear a single cough anywhere for days, and then noticed a lot more coughing in public yesterday, so I take that as a warning sign. After a quick trip to the feed store and to Lowe's today, we are officially staying home. Well, except Tim has to go to work each day and that is just unavoidable, but I'll be cleaning and disinfecting everything he touches when he comes in from work. I suppose he won't let me stand at the back door and spray him down with Lysol before he enters the house, will he?

    I think Tim should pack a suitcase to carry in the car just like he does before a forecasted snowstorm and should be prepared to hunker down and stay in Texas if anyone issues a stop-movement type edict while he is a work, particularly if such an edict prohibits crossing state lines. I don't know if such an edict is coming on either a statewide or national level, but if it is, he'd be in better shape if he has a suitcase full of clothing,medication and toiletries.

    Remember the good old days when all we had to worry about with the garden was just weather and pests?


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